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VMAS HIT NEW
ALL-TIME LOW

Last year, MTV’s VMAs hit an all-time record low in ratings—but records were made to be broken. Once again this year, the trophyfest hit a new nadir with 2.25m viewers and a 1.1 rating with viewers 18-49, down .3 against last year (when the show aired on a Sunday night rather than a Monday). The network is touting its streaming numbers (141.6m) and a surge in social-media activity connected to the awards, but this latest decline in TV audience speaks volumes about the plummeting significance of the event on the cultural radar.

Meanwhile, nothing on the show appreciably moved the needle sales-wise (the most instant indicator) or streaming-wise.

Given the absence of top stars, the dearth of memorable moments, industry crickets, lamentable reviews (“No stars. No fun. Pure flop sweat,” proclaimed Rolling Stone) and virtually zero marketplace impact, this year’s Moonman night may have been the wettest wet squib yet. Given the enormous expense involved in putting acts on the show, industry wonderers are wondering if there’s any return on investment.

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